George Jerome Barker is a leader of the Lawrence bar as well as of public thought and action in the city of his residence. For many years he has been regarded as a foremost citizen of Douglas county. He is a native of Massachusetts, born twelve miles from Springfield, Nov. 6, 1842. His parents were Siras G. and Eliza (King) Barker. His father was a native of Connecticut and his mother was born in Massachusetts. Both came of sturdy New England stock, of English lineage. When their son was a boy of seven years they removed to Wisconsin and settled on a farm in Rock county, where Mr. Barker was reared. At Allen's Grove Academy he was prepared for college and then went to Chicago, where he began the study of law in the Chicago Law School, in which he graduated in 1864. In 1867 he located at Lawrence and embarked at once in the practice of his profession. He soon rose to prominence in his profession and was not long in taking an influential place in the community. He became actively identified with the Republican party and, after serving as city attorney and as county attorney, was elected to the state senate, which position he held for two terms at a time when there was an opportunity to be peculiarly useful to the city of his home. His ability met early recognition in the senate and he became a strong factor in legislation. Later, he was three times elected to the lower house of the legislature. During this service, which was marked by characteristic ability and aggressiveness, he served as speaker of the house. For four years he was postmaster at Lawrence, and on two occasions was elected mayor of that municpality. His administrations as mayor marked an epoch of improvement in the history of the city. His last term expired in May, 1909, when he was succeeded by Hon. S. D. Bishop. Mr. Barker is a man of fine civic spirit, and the city of Lawrence owes him much for the results that have come from his faithful and intelligent leadership.
In 1867 Mr. Barker married Miss Lucena Allen, of Allen's Grove, Wis., who died, leaving three childrenMrs. Charles B. Spencer, Mrs. Luther N. Lewis, and Mrs. Hugh Means. For a second wife he married Miss Emily Branscomb, who died, leaving one child, Bernice. His present wife was Mrs. Emma Dinsmore.
Fraternally Mr. Barker is a Knight Templar Mason and also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is well known among the able lawyers of the state, and in his home county no man stands higher in the confidence and esteem of the people than he. In all relations of life he has manifested a spirit of fairness toward all men, and this, together with his unassuming manner of deportment, has made him popular among those who have known him.Pages 528-529 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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